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Book Trip


[Beautiful Library in Korea ②]

Anyang Pavilion
(Books on Contemporary Public Art)

A Heavenly Harmony of Rest, Nature, and Global Art Pieces




Anyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, is a city of art. It hosts Anyang Public Art Project (APAP) every 3 years, which is the only public art festival in Korea, with Anyang-si as background. The APAP is a project where the city cooperates with artists from around the world to interpret and turn the changing context and environment of a modern city like Anyang, including its history, culture, landscape, and development, into various public artworks such as pure art, sculpture, structure, design, and performance. It also turns the city itself into a gallery so that the citizens can enjoy art in daily life. Anyang Pavilion, is the only library specialized in public art in Korea, being a special cultural complex that serves as both a library and an art exhibition hall. Let’s meet Anyang Pavilion, a library that delivers the very meaning of things within, from the building to the props inside.


View of Anyang Pavilion


The only library specialized in public art in Korea


Anyang Pavilion was built as a part of the “Public Art Shelf in a Public Library Project,” the fourth APAP, aiming to transform the dead Anyang amusement park into an art park in 2005.
First opened as the “Albaro Siza Hall,” carrying the name of architect Álvaro Joaquim de Melo Siza Vieira in 2005, it had been used as a gallery for exhibitions and forums. Then in October 2013, it changed its name to Anyang Pavilion, and went through a makeover to a library specialized in public art, the only one of its type in Korea. After that, the building has been used as a hub for utilizing and exhibiting numerous works and records from the APAPs carried out since 2005 and sharing the outcomes with citizens. Also, as Anyang Pavilion is located inside Anyang Art Park, a resting place for Anyang citizens, anyone can visit the library and quench their curiosity for art. Many think that art is reserved for special people, but literally anyone, from children to adults, and art professionals, can enjoy art and lead a cultural life at Anyang Pavilion. This is why Anyang Pavilion is picked as one of the desired libraries for art students, being a resting place for citizens and a space where people can have an in-depth and full experience of artworks, unlike other libraries.
Designing the first-ever public art library involved a series of creative decisions. Different knowledge and much research were needed to design the interior, choose the direction the library would pursue, and make it a convenient space for future users. Here, case studies of many libraries at home and abroad and opinions from experts and the general public helped make this possible. As valuable records of the APAP and artworks that are generally inaccessible were open to the public, people began to take more interest in the APAP, which became a trigger for shedding light on architecture, sculpture, and contemporary art as public art once again. Also, as the production process of artworks was archived for preservation and utilization, the archive itself earned value as a separate artwork. In addition, as Anyang Pavilion preciously conserves even trivial materials, including reference photographs, interviews, and email histories of authors involved in the production of their works, people can guess what kind of mind the artists had at that time and under what circumstances they made the work. They are also open online through the digitalization process as well.




(Left) APAP Archive Library, (Right) 3D Archive – SEOUL MODEL SHOP, 2019, APAP6




APAP Archive Media



Everywhere you step is art


If you walk along the path in Anyang Art Park, where various artworks of famous artists around the world are displayed, you will soon be able to reach Anyang Pavilion, a beautiful white building. Anyang Pavilion was the first atypical structure designed by globally renowned Portuguese architect Álvaro Joaquim de Melo Siza Vieira in Asia. The building was designed as a unique spatial structure with no pillars, wavy curves, and semicircular lines elongated to the side, so that they are not in the same shape from any angle.
If you walk into the building, you will meet various works made by artists from across the world.
The first work that catches your eyes will be “Oasis” by Korean architect Shin Hae-Won. It is a giant, round chair made with paper, and it won the 4th APAP with the theme “The Spatialization of Programs.” As it offers good rest for visitors with the best backrest angle for reading, it is usually picked as the signature work of Anyang Pavilion by the visitors.
The second work is “The Gateless Gate” by Choi Jeong-Hwa, which is used as a shelf at Anyang Pavilion today. This structure is a combination of a bookshelf and storage box that is based on the designs of Korea’s traditional cabinet. It used donated furniture from citizens.
The third work is “Earth Potential (Lizard, Earth)” by Katja Novitskova. It can be found on the left side of the entrance. This was first presented at the 6th APAP themed “Symbiotic City” in 2019. It is a work formed by combining images of the Earth, various planets, and animals and organisms used in biotechnology and genetic research taken from internet sources.
On top of these works, there is a computer where you can watch DVDs related to public art, and an archive room where you can see past videos and documents of APAPs held in Anyang-si.




Oasis – Shin Hae-Won, 2013, APAP4




(Left) The Gateless Gate – Choi Jeong-Hwa, 2016, APAP5
(Right) Earth Potential(Lizard, Earth) - Katja Novitskova, 2019, APAP6


A hub that conserves art and stores content


Books of Anyang Pavilion are classified into 29 categories based on Korea’s decimal system. Unlike ordinary libraries, Anyang Pavilion provides an archiving system where people can view locations and histories of works. Also, books displayed in the library include books about public art, works of authors who participated in APAPs, books about Anyang-si, and various research materials related to art. You can also find art books that went out of print. It’s all thanks to the library as it owns about 2,000 books, the least.
Also, Anyang Pavilion has about 90 artworks collected from APAPs and organizes, keeps, and exhibits records of artists that participated. In addition, it has recently added new books published in Korea and abroad that are written on the past, present, and future of public art, materials owned by Anyang-si, and a section for children’s books and materials. It also held a special book curation, a total of six public art projects over three sessions, each with a related topic.


APAP6 Book Curation




Books displayed in Anyang Pavilion



On the shelves of Anyang Pavilion, you can find publications and videos about opinions and intentions of the many artists, planners, researchers, creators, and actors that participated in APAP since the first one started in 2005, and one-line explanations and drawings that help understand works. These all aim to provide different views on the works created throughout APAPs by looking at the participants’ backgrounds, sharing works under production, and offering materials for various talks about public art.
At the opening of the 4th APAP in October 2013, Anyang Pavilion first introduced the monographs of 10 authors involved in it (Álvaro Siza, Honoré Daumier, Suzanne Lacy, Rick Lowe, Lee Bul, Hong Myung-Seop, and others), which followed by further studies to be opened in a series throughout the open hours of the park library.
Anyang Pavilion also offers a special service for its users – full-time docents and an audio platform that can be seen at art galleries and museums. So, visitors can listen to explanations of works displayed at the art park through the application on their mobile phones.
If you still feel that art is too far away, how about visiting Anyang Pavilion – a place of good rest, nature, and global artworks that you can see, hear, touch, and feel? You will definitely fall into a satisfying art world.


A short interview with Anyang Pavilion

1. What is the “exhibition point” of Anyang Pavilion?

The APAP is like a fusion of global artists’ individual thoughts on a city called Anyang. So, the audience can look at Anyang wearing “global glasses,” with context and material of the authors globally different. Also, while people generally pay attention to the visual elements on-site when appreciating works, Anyang Pavilion helps visitors in that manner as it provides information about the authors’ intention and background of each work.


2. What kind of library do you want Anyang Pavilion to become for citizens in Korea?

The building itself is the first artwork of Anyang Pavilion that started out as the first step of the public art project. We hope Anyang Pavilion becomes a library with a low barrier so that people can walk through art freely, just like unconstrained libraries. Also, we hope it becomes a library where the citizens of Anyang and the Korean citizens who live in this contemporary era can see, touch, and feel the world and works of global artists.


3. What are the future plans of Anyang Pavilion?

In time for the 7th Anyang Public Art Project (APAP7) to be held in 2023, we plan to bring in more content suitable for public art libraries. In addition, as Anyang Pavilion is also a cultural complex for citizens while introducing public art and APAP, we are planning to make it a space filled with a greater variety of contents such as artworks, real materials, videos, audios, and exhibitions.



Anyang Pavilion
* APAP ARCHIVE EXHIBITION is open now! (2021.10~)
Website: www.apap.or.kr:446
Contact: +82-31-687-0548
Address: 180 Art Park-ro, Manan-gu, Anyang-si, Gyeonggi-do
Ticket: Free





Written by Lee Ji-Hyeon



Lee Ji-Hyeon

#Anyang Pavilion#Anyang-si#APAP#Public Library#Public Art
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